The Church has so emasculated the Gospel that it threatens no other power-structure. The Church no longer arouses hostility among the same elites and to the same degree as in the first century, but this is due not so much to a change in the operation of power-structures as to the Church's betrayal of the Gospel itself. In fact, in reading Revelation, we may discover that the prophet was alive to that very betrayal in the churches of Asia and that he traced such betrayal to Satan's deceptions. This is why he describes the Great Prostitute as he does, because he discovers whoredom among Christians themselves. This is why his parodies are so caustic and cutting: the Prostitute as a parodic image of the Church, Babylon as parody of the Lamb, the slaves of the Beast as parody of the slaves of Christ. Such an interpretation of John brings him within the succession of the great prophets, like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, whose vocation under God was to make God's people aware of their own apostasy.

from page 211, I Saw a New Earth